Monthly Archives: October 2016

Bikes that You Can’t Fix

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Do you ever think that bikes are getting way too complicated?  I do.  One that that nags at me, nearly all the time, in the back of my mind, is having bikes that might be impossible to fix on the fly.

This is post mainly is focused on my dual suspension MTB, but you could imagine any of your bikes that you don’t have the ability to fix yourself.

I don’t really ride this bike as much as I should and don’t actually understand it completely .  It isn’t like it is foreign to me, but I don’t look at it like Brad Bingham does, the guy who designed and helps build with Kent Eriksen.

But, I’ve see it when I’m hanging with Vincent too.  He has been having shock issues, which is my concern too, and when that happens, especially at a race, it sucks.

Vincent blew out his fork on Cannondale at the Growler in Gunnison and couldn’t finish the event.  Then he had the same problem with his tandem fork.  He got it rebuilt a couple times and finally, I think, he got a new fork completely.

I’m having the same problems with my fork and shock on my bike.  I only have about 500 miles on the bike, thus them.  Both are warrantied for a year and they are still in warranty, but the hassle of sending them in seems big.  I called Fox and they said I need to get a receipt of the “purchase”.

This isn’t a normal thing for me.  I fix my stuff normally.  And if I don’t think something is repairable at a race, I usually carry a spare one with me, so if I do have a problem, I can replace it.

I don’t know if this is a problem with Fox stuff or not.  I don’t hang around the MTB scene enough to know if this is a common problem or that maybe both the shock and fork are bombproof and I just am an outlier.  I do know my rear shock is losing pressure and there is oil coming out the air valve when I pump it up, which to me, seems wrong.  I can’t imagine a design where the oil and air aren’t separated.

I do know that I want to ride/race this bike this fall and it would be really a hassle if it is out of commission for a month.  I wonder what the turn around time on repair is?

I guess I’m just experiencing an issue that many other riders experience all the time.  Like trying to glue on cross tires or rebuilding a wheel or something.  But I know how to do those things and nearly everything else concerning the bikes I ride.  Maybe I just need to go online and learn how to fix these myself.  I’ve never rebuilt a shock, so have no idea whether I need special tools or what.  It seems like it is a no-brainer just sending them in to get fixed, but I really don’t like other people working on my bikes.  Not unless I know the other people and trust their work. Funny how that is.

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Sunday is TTT Worlds

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Tomorrow morning, fairly early, is the start of the UCI World Championships in Dohan, Qatar.  At around 7 am EST, the women’s TTT is going to be going on.  Then later on after that, at around 8:20, the men teams will start.  Unless you subscribe to the UCI channel or something, you can click here and there is a list on the right side that shows different options.   The course looks a little tight.  Should be good.

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Come On – Our Election is Embarrassing our Country

This entry was posted in Important Society Issues on by .

If I have learned one thing about doing this over time is that it isn’t wise to address a few subjects that are taboo/divisive.  These subjects are the big ones – gun control, abortion, and of course, politics. I say I’ve learned this, but can’t hold back at this point.

I’m going to try to get my view across without taking sides.  Because it isn’t about sides, it is about lowering the bar so far that it might be never raised again.

I’m not going to try to pick too much on Trump.  I say it upfront, the guy is an imbecile.  But that isn’t the point I am going to try to make.   It is part of the point, but not close to all the issues that need addressing.

I think the first one I would like to address is how rude this election has become.  What is up with the name calling?  We’re trying to vet a person to be the most powerful person on the planet.  This is really a job interview.  Could you imagine two candidates for the CEO of Apple treating each other like this.  I think not.  But when it comes to being president, it comes down our two candidates name calling.  It is so wrong.

These debates are just showing how badly professional people can act.  They interrupt each other, interrupt the  moderators and just don’t behave appropriately for the situation they are in.  Do they not realize they are on the world stage?

If this is a job interview, why are so many questions avoided.  A candidate is asked a question and then the next thing, they morph the question into some personality flaw the other candidate has.  Both these people obviously have personality flaws, we all do. I don’t understand why either of them would want to follow this path.

These guys are so tense and bitter towards each other that they can’t even get their plans or ideas out to the public.

Donald Trump has done numerous things that would have disqualified him in nearly all previous presidential elections.  But the guy is immune, it seems, to the previous rules.  We’ve lowered our standards so low that we are now making decisions by who we dislike less.

And what about morals.  How about all the politicians that throw their personal standards out and are sticking to party lines?  This is so reflective of why nothing productive gets done anymore in Washington.  The party is more powerful than personal standards or morals.  It is a sad state.

How bad a person could be nominated for president of the United States of America?  What if one of the political parties nominated someone as horrible as say, Adolf Hitler.  Does the rest of that party follow the lead and endorse a monster?  Is that how it works now?

There are some really smart people that are politicians and I can’t imagine how embarrassed I would be to be included in that group now.   These people have no self control or dignity anymore. Our society should be embarrassed about this whole election.  This might be the new standard and it might be irreversible.

Democrat vs. Republican

Democrat vs. Republican

Things I don’t Like

This entry was posted in Racing on by .

I don’t like rust.  It ruins so much nice stuff.  And once it becomes rust, the stuff is horrible for skin.  Working on a car with rust is not very rewarding.

I don’t like ticks.  I actually hate ticks.  Ticks are my least favorite bugs, by a factor of 10.

I don’t like/nearly hate, people that throw trash out of their cars while driving.  I have no understanding of their thought process.  It is like they want to live in a terrible world.

I don’t like sitting in traffic.  Who does?  Sitting in traffic is a complete waste of time and it would be very difficult for me to live somewhere where there is a high chance I’d be in stopped traffic on a daily basis.

I’m not big with laundromats.  I’m not even sure where that word came from.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time washing clothes in these places and most the people that I run into I don’t want to know personally.

I don’t much like eggplant.  I eat just about everything, but eggplant never took.  That and pea soup.  Add to that canned peas.  Fresh peas are fine, but I don’t run into them that often.

I don’t like hearing gunshots when I’m out riding in the country.  I don’t have any idea when way the gun is pointed, so it spooks me, as it should.

On the gun subject, I’m not big on hunting for sport.  Most of the time, the way I see it, there isn’t much sport in hunting.  It is just killing.

I don’t like dressing up for an appointment.  I try to make it a point to limit things I do that require dressing up.

I don’t like walking downhill.  Especially downhill for a long time.  I like hiking, but dread the downhills.

Overeating should be on this list.  I rarely do it, but when I do, I hate it.

On that subject again, I don’t much like buffets.  I can’t stand looking at how much food the majority of patrons tend to heap on their plates.  It is one of the 7 deadly sins.

Waking up from too long of naps is not good.  I am grouchy and more tired than before the nap.

I hate sticking to my jeans after I’ve crashed.  Jeans and sheets.  I came up with using Saran Wrap, back in the day, now Tegadrem is the ticket.  It still occurs some though.

I don’t like waking to a cloudy day when I expect a sunny one.  It sets a bad tone.

I don’t like skipping breakfast.  I nearly can’t function without breakfast.

Injustices.  Obviously, by definition, they are unfair.  Too many of these occur nowadays.

I’m not big on bad dog breath.  I love dogs though.  Same with people, other than I don’t love people as much as I do dogs.

I could probably keep going all day.  These are just a few. Any of your own?

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Knee Surgery ???

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

I’m not being an alarmist here, but I’ve been thinking about this for a hour or so and am becoming a bit worried.  I woke up this morning with a big swollen knee.  Last night it was a little sore and now it is way, way more sore, swollen and hot.

I called my friend Stacie and we did a little FaceTime thing and she says that I have an infected prepatella bursitis and that I need to see an orthopedic surgeon ASAP.  So I called around and just got answering machines, but then Stacie called me back and had made me an appointment in a few hours.

I’m not sure how this happened.  I rode MTB with the Tuesday night group and my knee was a little weird.   I’d kind of twisted it a couple days ago and thought that was the problem.

I was walking, at night, on a sidewalk and stepped into a 12 inch hole in a grate that was full of water. I totally submerged my shoe and lower leg, fell forward and landed on my knee.  I felt lucky that I didn’t break my leg.  That hole needs to be covered.  It has been sore since, but that doesn’t really explain how it got infected.

It is the same knee I scraped down, falling in Colorado.  But that was a long time ago.  The healing has been slow, but it hasn’t been open in weeks.

Anyway, Stacie said not to eat, that the guy might cut do surgery to drain all the infection out of it and then put me on IV antibiotics.   The more I dwell on how I feel, the more a hypochondriac I am becoming.  I don’t feel that good, sort of like flu.

I plan to use my knee a lot over the next few decades, if I’m around that long, so it’s pretty important to get this right.   I’ll post again, post Dr.’s visit.  Boo.

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img_2108This hole is on a sidewalk.  I guess it used to have a tree in it, but not now.  It is deep, like mid-shin deep.  I stepped straight into it and fell forward and landed on my knee.

 

Oh,  it's Tucker's 10 month birthday today.  He is a great boy.  Getting stronger by the day.

Oh, it’s Tucker’s 10 month birthday today. He is a great boy. Getting stronger by the day.

 

 

 

Bus Rides

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

On the post I did a couple days ago, on list of things I don’t like, I was pondering about including taking buses.  I couldn’t do it.  I don’t mind buses.  Actually, I sort of like taking buses. I like watching the world go by at a car’s speed, being a little higher than a normal automobile.   I say that, but I haven’t done it since I could afford not to.

I think the last time I took a bus was way, way back when I was staying semi-permanently at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.  I didn’t have a car and mass transportation was the only way I could get around alone.

I was going back, from Topeka to Colorado Springs.  The bus left Topeka pretty late in the evening, to WIchita, where I changed buses, then to  Pueblo and Colorado Springs, through Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colorado.

There were a bunch of Harley motorcycle guys, minus motorcycles, waiting in Wichita for the Colorado Springs bus.  They were trying to pick up a girl, who was receptive, so there was a lot of beer drinking going on.

We all loaded on the bus, I had my own row,  At the very last minute, a couple police officers brought this guy to the bus.  He was handcuffed and talked to himself.  They took the handcuffs off and loaded him on the bus.

My luck, the guy walks down the aisle and sits right behind me.  And then he proceeds to talk to himself constantly.

I was trying to sleep, but was pretty interested in his personal conversation.  He was saying crazy shit over and over again.

We’d been moving a few hours, so it was really late, the middle of the night, maybe around 2 or 3 am, when the guy started saying he was going to “do it” over and over.  I was sort of asleep, but he grabbed my seat to stand up and woke me.

He stood up and started walking towards the front of the bus, saying “do it”.   I was wondering where he was going since the bathroom was at the back.  He walked straight up to the front and, with no hesitation, jumped on the driver’s back.  I couldn’t believe it.

I don’t think bus drivers had to wear seat belts back then because they both fell to the floor, in the stairwell by the door.  I couldn’t really see it, but after it was over, I learned the guy that was sitting behind the driver reached over and grabbed the steering wheel.  The bus slowly slowed to a stop.

The Harley guys were at the back of the bus, having their way with their new friend, but when this all started, they were on it.  Right when the bus stopped, a couple of them were nearly to the front.  Somehow the door opened and everything was outside.  They had this guy, I couldn’t see it, but I could hear and feel it as they proceeded to smash the guy’s face into the side of the bus.

Pretty soon we were all outside, in the middle of nowhere, Eastern Colorado.  It was so dark. Everyone started smoking, including the bus driver, who seems more like one of the Harley guys now, even though he was wearing his bus driver outfit.

I used the time to wander off and pee.  I couldn’t believe how many stars were in the sky.  I could hear someone smash the guys head against the side of the bus every once in a while.  He wasn’t very docile, even though his face was hamburger.

The bus driver used his radio and called ahead to the next town.  When we got to this small town, there were some sheriffs waiting for us.  Like I said, all this didn’t slow the crazy guy down much, he was mad.

They handcuffed him again and were talking to him, when all of a sudden, he takes off running down the main street, which was abandoned.  One of the sheriffs sort of laughs and takes off jogging after the guy, who wasn’t really running, more like stumbling.

The sheriff pulled out his billy club and when he gets behind the guy, he wacked him across the back of his head.  That was it, he was out.  He was laying flat on his face, in the middle of Main St.  The sheriff just casually walked back to get his car.  The crazy guy wasn’t moving.

We all got back into the bus, and drove past the unconscious guy in the street,headed to Pueblo.

This really didn’t sour me to riding buses, I just moved up the economic ladder a tad, so avoided them.  I still took an occasional train, but I think that was my last cross-country bus trip.

I like trains better than buses, and I like buses in Europe or South American way better than buses in the US. I say that, but haven’t taken a bus for long time, so maybe I’m off here.  I should try it again.

This is what a bus looked like back then.

This is what a bus looked like back then.

 

Hard to Believe it is Friday Again

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

It is funny how fast weeks are going this Fall.  I’m not sure why that is, but it is, at least for me. This week has went fast, even though I was draggin’.

I’m heading back to the doctor this morning at 9 am.  On Wednesday, he sucked a big syringe of goopy mess out of my knee and now I’m eating a handful of antibiotics every 6 hours.   I think my knee felt better this morning, but I still don’t get what happened.  Whatever it is, I don’t like it.  I haven’t ridden since Tuesday.

Actually, I haven’t been riding that much this past month.  I don’t think I’ve had much over a 200 mile week the last 4 weeks.  Some of that is because I’ve been riding cross and MTB, but my hours are way down too.

After seeing the knee guy, I’m going to call a GP and try to see him.  I haven’t been feeling very well since way before Chequamegon, so that is a couple months  I thought it would just pass, but it hasn’t and it’s been way too long for that.  I don’t have a regular doctor, so I need to get one.

Yesterday I did a bunch of auto repair.  I’m pretty good at it. At least sometimes.  I guess it is just putting in the time and having a good attitude.  You figure they had to have put it together some way, so there is a way to take it apart.  Sometimes I wonder what the engineers were thinking when they designed certain cars/engines.  I wonder if they took repair accessibility into consideration at all. The Internet is awesome for pointers.

I was replacing the filler neck of Dennis’ pickup truck. I had just filled it up with gas and then got the part in the mail.  It was totally rusted, so I had to drill the screws out to remove it.  Then I proceeded to spill a 1/2 gallon of gasoline on myself while trying to loosen the hose clamps and install the new part.  I have never had much problem with gas, but for some reason, the stuff was kind of burning my skin and when I looked at it, the skin was whitish.  I took off my clothing and headed to the shower pretty quickly.   I still smell like gas this morning, so I guess it permeated my skin.

I got lucky and loosened all the bolts to the power steering pump on the same car.  I don’t have the pump, but am picking one up after seeing the doctor.  I say I’m good at auto repair, but I’m not that good at diagnosis.  At least good enough to be sure that I’m not wasting my time and money doing this.  I’m pretty sure it is the pump, but probably only 70% sure.  Guess it will be a little surprise.

Yesterday I also took a bunch of brake rotors to the recycling place.  I’m not sure how many I had, but they weighed a little over 300 lbs.  I guess I’ve done a lot of brake work the last 6 months or so.   I got $12.75 for them.  I got a better rate for cast iron, $85 a ton, compared to $65 for normal metal.  Those recycling places are a trip.  It is amazing what is there and the machinery moving the metal around.  Something out of a sci-fi movie.

There are two cross races this weekend in Lawrence, but I’m not going to be able to race.   For sure. Catherine texted me that she is going to race, so I’ll probably go help her.  Hopefully, the doctor will give me the go-ahead to ride some.  I think I could probably bend my knee enough to pedal.  It was hurting pretty good yesterday, but like I said, today it seems a little better.

Okay, I better get going.  I hate these semi-early morning appointments.

Gas filler neck I replaced. How rusted was this?

Gas filler neck I replaced. How rusted was this?  I’m surprised any gasoline wen into the tank at all.

New filler neck. And a steering shaft piece I'm putting in later today.

New filler neck. And a steering shaft piece I’m putting in later today.

I'm also changing the power steering pump. I have all the bolts loose. Just need to go get a new pump and then change it.

I’m also changing the power steering pump. I have all the bolts loose. Just need to go get a new pump and then change it.

Pile of brake rotors I took to recycle yesterday. I guess I'd been stocking them up for a while.

Pile of brake rotors I took to recycle yesterday. I guess I’d been stocking them up for a while.

Craziness at the recycling place.

Craziness at the recycling place.

Cash for rotors.

Cash for rotors.

We took a bunch of old helmets over to the Bicycle Coalition last night. They can use just about anything extra cycling related.

We took a bunch of old helmets over to the Bicycle Coalition last night. They can use just about anything extra cycling related.